07-28-2005, 08:32 PM #1
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Choong Hann wants to stay on as singles player
PETALING JAYA: Whatever the outcome at the World Badminton Championships, former No. 1 Wong Choong Hann intends to stay on as a men's singles player with the national team.
The 28-year-old Choong Hann is one of the three men singles qualifiers for the world meet, which will be played in Anaheim, California, from Aug 15-21. The others are Lee Chong Wei and Mohd Hafiz Hashim.
The experienced Choong Hann is currently the country's third ranked player after Chong Wei and Hafiz.
There has not been any outstanding results from the lanky shuttler since reaching the All-England semi-finals in February.
However, Choong Hann played a prominent role as a doubles player in the Sudirman Cup and helped Malaysia regain a place in the Division Two of the world mixed team event in Beijing in May.
And there has been pressure for him to switch to doubles play considering his age and the emergence of younger and faster singles players.
The 2002 China Open champion however, is not giving up playing singles – not until after the Doha Asian Games in December next year.
“I may do well or I may fare poorly in the world meet. But I will not decide my future in badminton based on the results at the world meet. For me, I am looking at playing singles until the Asiad,” said Choong Hann, who is currently ranked 10th in the world.
“Then, I will decide what to do. There are so many options: to give up the sport, become a coach or switch to doubles. That’s still a long way to go.”
In the next one year, he is also expected to challenge for a place in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the Thomas Cup Finals in Tokyo, Japan. With Choong Hann playing as the third singles, Malaysia may be a force to be reckoned with in the premier men's team event.
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